Oral surgery includes a wide range of procedures that can affect different people in different ways. It's always important to listen to your doctor and to communicate any concerns you have both before and after the procedure.
Whether you are having a routine extraction, wisdom teeth removal or a complex jaw surgery following injury or disease, your oral surgeon will help you understand all the risks and benefits. Please read these resources prior to your visit and contact your practice if you have any additional questions.
Your visit begins with paperwork that includes your medical history and consent forms. We recommend you bring a list of all medications you are taking regularly or have recently taken.
After completing your forms, our team will review your history. If you have been referred by your dentist, we will review any information that has been passed along.
A complete set of X-rays is often necessary before your oral surgeon can diagnose your symptoms and develop your treatment plan. Your oral surgeon will make you aware of the benefits, options and risks associated with your treatment, as well as any post-treatment that may be necessary.
Your treatment may include local anesthesia, general anesthesia, sedation or nitrous. Your oral surgeon will review your options and determine the best course of treatment. If you are receiving anesthesia, you must have someone else available to drive you home.
After your procedure is complete, additional X-rays may be used to track the success of the treatment. You will also receive post-operation instructions that will set expectations for the days immediately following the procedure. It’s important to follow all instructions carefully in order to ensure effective healing.
After your treatment is complete, your doctor will discuss recovery time and the proper after care to help ensure a successful procedure. After care following oral surgery typically includes:
Rest – You may need up to seven days to recover. We recommend taking at least three days off work or school.
Elevation – It’s important to keep your head elevated above your heart.
Ice/painkillers – Your oral surgeon may recommend applying ice and taking Advil or Tylenol, or your doctor may prescribe painkillers following your procedure.
Diet – For several days after your surgery you may need to adjust your diet. This may include eating more liquid foods and avoiding any hot or cold foods/beverages.
Hygiene – You might not be able to brush your teeth for several days following your procedure in order to allow for healing and prevent further damage.
Please note that the above is a quick overview and is not meant as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. It’s important to follow your specific after care plan in order to promote successful healing and prevent complications.
What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years. They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery and anesthesiology, and spend time in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), plastic surgery, emergency medicine and other specialty areas. This training focuses almost completely on the bone, skin and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw. Oral and facial surgeons have knowledge and expertise that uniquely qualifies them to diagnose and treat a number of functional and esthetic conditions in this anatomical area.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) represents more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supporting specialized education, research and advocacy. AAOMS fellows and members comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and submit to periodic office anesthesia evaluations to ensure that office procedures and personnel meet stringent national standards.
Do I have to have a referral to see an oral surgeon?
We recommend that each patient has a referral from their general dentist, orthodontist or other specialist as this indicates what specific procedure has been recommended by the referring doctor. We do not want to discourage self-referrals from those who do not have a referral directly from a doctor.
What should I expect during my first visit?
A clinical examination will be performed by your specialist, which will include a review of your radiographs, and oral exam. A thorough review of your health history and medical conditions will be completed. An individualized treatment plan will be presented to you, for your approval, prior to proceeding with any treatment. Our office will notify you of your insurance benefit and coverage. Your financial obligations will be presented to you. Please bring the following to your initial appointment: dental/medical insurance cards, referral slip and radiographs, if provided to you by your referring doctor, for your specialty appointment.
Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?
Our office accepts most insurance plans. We will submit a claim to your insurance upon the completion of your treatment. We ask that you make payment for any deductible fees or any fees that are not covered under your dental/medical plans on the day of service. We accept most major credit cards. We also offer credit thorough an outside credit agency, but this is subject to individual qualification.
What if I have an emergency?
If you are patient of record of our specialty office, please contact your surgeon for any emergency treatment. An appointment can be arranged for further evaluation and treatment. If you are not a patient of record with our specialty office, please contact your dentist first to determine the nature of your emergency. A referral can then be made to a surgeon, if necessary. Our offices are available after hours by phone to address an emergency situation. Please call the surgeon you were referred to initially. You will be instructed to contact the on-call doctor by our answering service.